Congrats... the great mystery of what I am climbing next has been solved by MC and Carla. They deciphered the clues: Aconcagua plus a hat trick plus a vulcan plus Denali equals "The Hat Trick of the Americas" or my next climbing objective... Volcán Tajumulco. At 4220 metres above sea level, it is the highest peak in Guatemala and the highest peak in Central America!
Marian and I will leave for Guatemala in mid December and will climb seven of Guatemala's volcanoes in two weeks with (hopefully) a trip up to the top of the highest one! I loved that I share my name with part of the volcano's name and chose it since I liked the idea of a "mountain hat trick" and combining both of my two activity loves: mountaineering and hockey! I also studied Spanish in Guatemala over ten years ago and have always wanted to go back. We've started trying to reactivate the Spanish speaking part of my brain by listening to podcasts. Never terribly skilled in languages, and having learned parts of French, Spanish, Japanese, and Shona, I fear my over taxed hypoxia drained brain is only capable of "Franish " or 'Spench" at the moment. I start a sentence in one language and finish in another!
I have a fondness for volcanoes and look forward to learning more about them in the upcoming months. Here's another detective challenge (for those of you who are about to go through withdrawal since the game is over)...what are all the volcanoes I've had the privilege of standing atop of? How many have I attempted? What are the names of the Volcanic Seven Summits? Have the Volcanic Seven Summits been completed? Have I completed any of the Volcanic Seven Summits?
As you can see from the above questions, there are many lists/climbs/adventures to have in the world. I think one of the reasons it took me awhile to decide what to climb next was that since I set a goal of "The Seven Summits" and since I only had two left and since I was still in post-partem from the one and hadn't yet raised the funds to attempt the other, my original goal list was a bit confining so I began to look for other lists or connections or purposes. Moments of brilliance would come and go...I would just about think I had a plan and then a logistical snafu would creep up (dates wouldn't match up or would miss by a day), an attempted coup shut down another plan, and so on...time of year factored in and the amount of vacation time we had stored up...so I was delighted when Tajumlco presented itself to my heart in a moment of synchronicity (or inadvertent surfing depending on how you frame it).
It won't be my hardest challenge to date. It won't be the highest. Or the coldest. Or the furthest...It doesn't need to be right now! It's about getting back on the horse and sharing a wonderful adventure with the woman that I love (and all of you) and capping off standing atop the three highest peaks of North, South, and Central America! It's also what I do after not summitting Everest, I go climb a volcano in a Spanish speaking country :-)!!! (What was the name of the one I attempted in 2007)?
Thanks for coming along on another adventure–it's truly a joy to share the journey with you,